This weekend, I'm once again participating in Project Feeder Watch, which is a winter-long survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locales in North America.
I have to admit that, as often as I sit on the patio and watch the birds at the feeders, this year I had forgotten to submit my data to Project Feeder Watch until now, just a couple of weeks before the 2012/13 season ends!
I'm happy to report that I saw two birds today that I haven't seen in a while -- a Red Bellied Woodpecker and the Carolina Chickadee.
I've been lamenting the fact that we no longer have a mature pine tree in the garden to attract "Woody" but I heard him drumming on something this morning in the predawn hours, so I knew he was around somewhere.
I was very happy when I heard his familiar call as I sat on the patio, taking a break from weeding. Just a moment or two later, he landed on the wall, chasing away a White Winged Dove in the process, and helped himself to the seed and nuts I always sprinkle along the top of the wall.
Another bird I heard before I saw was the Carolina Chickadee (actually there were two of them).
I was pulling weeds and heard a call that I actually mistook for something else. It was only when I stood up and tried to locate the sound that I realized it was a Chickadee. It sounded like one was scolding the other as they both flitted around, first in the Wax Myrtle and then in the Crepe Myrtle.
I'm very happy with these photographs I took with my new Nikon Coolpix, it seems the perfect camera for bringing the birds closer with its 42X zoom lens, I've spent quite a lot of time with it since my hubby gave it to me for Christmas.
Northern Cardinals have been regular visitors ever since we moved in. We've had several pairs around, nesting in the wooded habitat either side of us which is now replaced by houses.
I'm glad they still visit, even if they have ignored the nesting shelf we put up for them. (I realize now that the nesting shelf, attached to the fence at eye level, is probably way too low and vulnerable for them - I need to find somewhere else for it.)
I was hoping to get a photo of her splashing around in the birdbath, but she declined, preferring instead to stand on the rim and stare at me before flying back to the feeder.
The Chipping Sparrows have been with us all winter. Usually there are at least ten of them, jockeying for position to get at the seed I sprinkle along the fence. Today, I just saw this one - not a true representation of our local winter population.
I'm hoping that when I submit my Second Day data tomorrow, I'll be able to enter a decent number and bring my average up!
Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.